Regional mayors say smart partnerships that work can facilitate technical exchange especially on infrastructural development as most countries in sub Saharan Africa are lagging behind.The Urban Councils Association of Zimbabwe (UCAZ) initiated a programme entitled â€˜Strengthening Transnational Partnership and Networks for Enhancing Participatory Local Governanceâ€™ which encourages local authorities to engage in smart partnerships to improve service delivery and infrastructural development.
Harare mayor, Mr. Muchadei Masunda said the regional network is critical as most cities in the region face developmental challenges and will fail to cope with the pressure from rural to urban migration which has become a common phenomenon.
â€œWe are hoping that through this network we will be able to enhance infrastructural development as in many African countries we have failed to improve in this regard,â€ said Mr. Masunda.
Representatives of the National Association of Local Authorities of Ghana (NALAG), the Gambia Association of Local Authorities (GALGA) and UCAZ who are in the country for the strategic planning workshop agreed that their countries can benefit a lot from the vibrant local government system in Zimbabwe.
Urban Councils Association of Zimbabwe secretary general, Mr. Francis Duri says the programme dubbed â€˜Strengthening Transnational Partnership and Networks for Enhancing Participatory Local Governanceâ€™ got funding from the European Union and is expected to enhance the capacity of local authorities to improve service delivery.
“The issue is on service delivery, having the local authorities partnering in service delivery issues,â€ said Mr. Duri.
The local government associations were mandated by the meeting of local government ministers in Luanda Angola in February this year to collaborate with governments in addressing local governance issues to achieve the Millennium Development Goals.